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Release Notes for 6-in-1 Version 2018-040

6-in-1 Estate Administration Software, v2018-040, February 27, 2018


We’re delighted to announce fifth release of 6-in-1 Estate Administration Software for 2018.


2/27/18

Version 2018-058 has been posted on our website and is available for immediate download.

Highlights of 6-in-1 Update

Each year, there are a thousand or so items that have to be tested throughout the software to reflect changes required in many of the 100+ tax return pages that we support.  Thus, it’s a highly iterative process that lasts from September until all forms are released by the IRS and state departments of revenue in final form sometime in mid or even late January.

General

1) Fifth Release this season.  12/1/17, 1/23/18, 2/7/18, 2/9/18, 2/27/18.

This is a “minor” update (transaction records not reimported).  This makes the update process much faster.

2) e-file Color Blocks Serve as “Filters”.  At the top of the list of tax returns (left half of the e-file Center), there are five colored blocks (one set for federal, another set for state). The status for each block is listed at the bottom of the e-file Center (Not Submitted, Pending, Accepted, Error LGI, Rejected IRS).  If you click on a colored block, you will narrow the list of returns to just those with that status.

Trick:  If you Shift-Click on the Green or Blue blocks, you will get a list of all Pending and all Accepted returns.

3) Zoom.  6-in-1 now zooms to 200% by default.  To change this, click on “Zoom” (upper left of 6-in-1 Main Menu screen), then choose the appropriate zoom level (top center):  100, 150, 200, or 300%.  This setting will stick until the next update, and applies to all users in a multi-user setting.

If you want to change that setting just for yourself and for no other users, scroll to the far right of the 6-in-1 Main Menu (by using the scroll bar at the bottom). At the top, change “Force Screen Size” to the desired zoom level.  This setting will last until you close 6-in-1.

Federal

4) Estate Tax Exclusion ($11,180,000).  We have recently seen the first quasi-official confirmation of this amount.  On February 7, 2018, the Joint Committee on Taxation published JCX-3-18 entitled “Overview Of The Federal Tax System As In Effect For 2018”.  On page 18 of this overview, it refers to a credit of $4,417,800 that “effectively exempts a total of $11.18 million (for 2018)”.  See link below:

JCX-3-18

This number is not the $11.2M (or even $11.21M) that many expected.  This results from the tax bill’s use of the “Chained CPI-U” (“C-CPI-U”) for the 2016=>2017 increment in the exclusion.  This C-CPI-U typically grows at a slower rate than does the regular CPI.  Even though its values are subject to adjustment for up to a year after they are published, the new tax bill has a specific provision for this.

For purposes of inflation adjustments based on the C-CPI-U, the values to be used are the latest values published as of the date that the Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes the initial value of the C-CPI-U for the month of August (i.e., 2017).  Thus, the C-CPI-U values published in about mid September for the 12 months ending on August 31 are used to set the inflation rate for the following calendar year (i.e., 2018) without any further adjustment.

5) Form 1041-ES for 2018.  Released by the IRS on 2/23/2018 (last Friday). Changes are incorporated in this update.  Note a new wrinkle caused by the December 2017 tax bill:

Long-term capitals gains have three brackets:  zero, 15%, and 20%

2017:  LT Capital Gain Brackets match the Tax Rate Schedule:

Zero:  Up to $2,550
15%:  $2,551 to $12,500
20%:  Above $12,500

2018:  LT Capital Gain Brackets no longer match the Tax Rate Schedule:

Zero:  Up to $2,600          (Tax Rate Schedule still breaks at $  2,550)
15%:  $2,601 to $12,700  (Tax Rate Schedule still breaks at $12,500)
20%:  Above $12,700

6) e-file:  Multiple Button Clicks.  Several users reported that clicking the e-file button didn’t actually send the return.  It turns out that, in release 2018-040, we inadvertently left a box checked (for testing purposes) that assembled the return but didn’t actually submit it.  This process then cleared the checkbox.

With the existing software, the solution was to click the e-file button a second time.  This issue has been resolved with today’s update.

States 

7) Fiduciary Income tax (e-file):  

NJ-1041      (approved)
NY IT-205    (approved)
OH IT-1041 (approved)
PA-41          (approved)

Other states in process for e-file:  CT, DE, IL, MA, VA, WI

States not yet supporting fiduciary income tax e-file:  IN, NC

8) Fiduciary Income tax (paper filing):

CT:   approved
DE:  approved
IL:    approved
IN:    approved (2/27/18):  on right panel, click into “Code to Remove” field, enter 4104.
MA:  approved
NC:  approved
NJ:   pending
NY:   pending (form substantially redesigned)
OH:  pending (form substantially redesigned, including new Page 6)
PA:   approved
VA:   approved
WI:   approved

Watermark:  We have changed the watermark that appears while state approval for paper filing is still pending:

  1. Main pages:  “Client Copy” (instead of “Approval Pending.  Do Not File”).
  2. K-1s (or their equivalents).  No watermark.  These forms are not filed.  This will allow you to provide these forms to your clients to pass along to their tax preparers.

9) 2016 State e-file. Several users reported issues with e-filing 2016 returns.  We have resolved that issue by (a) setting a variable to “2016” when the “2016” button at the top of the e-file Center is selected and (b) making sure that a specific field (“StateSubmissionIdCurrent”), no longer required for 2017, is still transmitted for 2016.

10) 2017 State e-file Fiduciary SSN/EIN.  These IDs are not required for 2017 returns.  Thus, the error condition for missing Fiduciary SSN/EIN has been removed.

11) IRD Adjustment on Separate PA-41 Estate and Trust Returns (related to a 1041 in which a Section 645 election is made to combine estate and trust returns ).  The IRD adjustment on PA-41 Schedules A and B now brings in the amount from the appropriate 1041 (estate or trust) rather than the IRD amounts for the estate and trust(s) combined.

12) CT-1041, Schedule B Attachment.  Now available for printing from the CT-1041 K-1 screen.

13) NJ-1041, Schedule B Attachment.  Now available for printing from the NJ-1041 K-1 screen.

DecoupleCruncher

14) Year 2018 Added to Dropdown Year Menu.

15) New Exclusions for 2018.

CT:   $  2,600,000
DC   $11,180,000
HI     $11,180,000
MD   $  4,000,000
ME   $11,180,000
MN:  $  2,400,000
RI:    $  1,537,656
WA:  $  2,193,000

Because the DC and ME (Maine) exclusions are now higher than the top of the 2017 tax brackets for these two jurisdictions, the departments of revenue themselves are not certain how these tax brackets will be applied for 2018.  DecoupleCruncher currently displays “Estimated” next to the 2018 results for DC and Maine.

2/9/18

Version 2018-040 has been posted on our website and is available for immediate download.

New Tax Bill 

On December 18, 2017, Vince Lackner had an article about the new tax bill published in Leimberg Information Services (“LISI”) online newsletter service for estate planning professionals.  This article includes five charts that illustrate the essence of the bill.  Below is a link to that article for your light bedtime reading:

https://lacknergroup.com/tax-bill-epic-battle-between-pure-speculation-and-absolute-certainty/

This is also accessible from The Tax Bill tab in the upper right section of our website.

Highlights of 6-in-1 Update

Each year, there are a thousand or so items that have to be tested throughout the software to reflect changes required in many of the 100+ tax return pages that we support.  Thus, it’s a highly iterative process that lasts from September until all forms are released by the IRS and state departments of revenue in final form sometime in mid or even late January.

General

1) Fourth Release this season:  We posted three unannounced versions on our website earlier this season:

a) 12/01/2017:  709, 1041, and PA-41 (paper filing).  All approved except for PA-41 RK-1/NRK-1

b) 01/23/2018:  1041 and PA-41 e-filing.  Approved several days later, with one change (Form 1041,Schedule E, needed to transmit amounts on Page 2).  This represents a reasonably rare
circumstance that was resolved in update (c) below.

c) 02/07/2018:  See highlights below

d) 02/09/2018 (today):  Reversed a change we had made to US Form 8960, Line 21, to match a flawed IRS test scenario.  The calculation again rounds to the nearest integer (up if 0.50 or more) rather than truncating (rounding down to the nearest integer for all decimals up to 0.99).

For those who installed (c) above, (d) is a “minor” update (transaction records not reimported).

Update (a) above allowed several users who needed to prepare some early returns to get started.

Federal

2) Indexed Amounts for 2018: Based on the Chained CPI-U (All Urban) (per the new tax bill), we were able to calculate the average for September 2016 through August 2017. Based on this average, we are projecting that the new amounts for 2018 will be as follows (not yet announced by the IRS):

a) Basic Exclusion Amount:     $11,180,000

b) Basic Credit Amount:           $  4,417,800

c) Annual Gift Tax Exclusion:  $       15,000

States 

3) Fiduciary Income tax (e-file):  

NJ-1041 (approved)
NY IT-205 (pending – late stages)
OH IT-1041 (pending – late stages)
PA-41 (approved)

Other states in process for e-file:  CT, DE, IL, MA, VA, WI

States not yet supporting fiduciary income tax e-file:  IN, NC

4) Fiduciary Income tax (paper filing):

CT:   pending (pages 1-3 reformatted by the Department on 1/9/2018)
DE:  approved
IL:    approved
IN:    pending
MA:  approved
NC:  approved
NJ:   pending
NY:   pending (form substantially redesigned)
OH:  pending (form substantially redesigned, including new Page 6)
PA:   approved
VA:   pending
WI:   pending

Watermark:  We have changed the watermark that appears while state approval for paper filing is still pending:

  1. Main pages:  “Client Copy” (instead of “Approval Pending.  Do Not File”).
  2. K-1s (or their equivalents).  No watermark.  These forms are not filed.  This will allow you to provide these forms to your clients to pass along to their tax preparers.

Because we received approval (without changes) for DE and IL after posting today’s update, you may remove the watermark as follows:

To remove watermarks:

On Page 1 of return, right panel, Shift-Click into the “Code to Remove” field, enter this number:

DE:  4102

IL:    4103

5) NC Accounting (AOC-E-506, Rev. 12/17):  Changes made.

6) PA:  Affidavit of Non-Subscribing Witness:  Notary block added in lower right portion of page.

7) PA:  Notice of Estate Administration (RW-07):  Option to enclose Will reinstated.

8) PA:   Petition for Adjudication (OC-01):  Compliance with new Public Access Policy added for sections 6, 9A, 10, and 20A/B.  Entering a minor’s initials will redact the minor’s name, date of birth, and address.  We redact the address even though the Policy does not require it, because we believe that this information is just as sensitive as the date of birth.  On the other hand, one could readily determine a minor’s address based on unredacted address information provided for other members of the same family.  We will await clarification when the Commonwealth revisits these issues this spring.

9) PA:  Interest rate for 2018 included (4%, or .000110 per day).

10) 6-in-1 Main Menu, State Fiduciary Income Tax buttons:  2017, 2002–2016.  Breaking this dropdown menu into two parts will save you an extra button click all season long.  If you intend to prepare a 2016 return (for example), be sure to click on the 2002–2016 button. Otherwise, you will be starting a 2017 return (which you can use at a later time).

11) NJ Estate Tax:  eliminated starting in 2018

11) DE Estate Tax:  eliminated starting in 2018

 

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